Lord Botetourt High School students (from left) Brooklyn Shelton, Luke Wallace and Yasmin Sykes work on their student project forum projects at the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School.
Photo by Aila Boyd

The forum, which is essentially a science fair, allows students at the governor’s school to choose a topic of interest to explore in great detail. Students start their projects in August and are given the entire month of January, during what is called “Intersession,” to wrap up their research.

“It’s a very unique experience because most students are used to having to cram it in after school, but here, they’re able to do it much more intensely,” Melissa Fisher, a math teacher at the school, said. “They get some rather fruitful results.”

Fisher, a graduate of Lord Botetourt High School, explained that the forum allows the students the unique opportunity to collaborate with other members of the school, as well as experts from across different disciplines in the community.

Teacher involvement in the projects varies. Freshmen typically receive more assistance than upperclassmen.

Yasmin Sykes analyzed proteins…

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